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WWII Junkers Ju 87, DBU Drop Tank Fuel Cap

One of the biggest challenges for the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain was that Germany’s primary escort fighter, the BF 109 had an extremely limited operational range. The Bf 109 had barely minutes of fuel left over the target area before it had to head for home, leaving the bomber fleet at the mercy of the RAF’s Spitfires and Hurricanes.

It was not until late October 1940 that the modified Bf 109 E-7 entered service with the capacity to carry one or two 300 lt fuel drop tanks but by then, the damage had been done.

The Junkers Ju87 ’Stuka’ dive-bomber however, had been equipped with drop tanks very early on in the conflict but whilst it had good operational range, it had very limited defensive capabilities and was almost totally dependant on its fighter escort for protection.

During the Luftwaffe’s early invasion of Norway and the Battle of France, the Ju 87 was used to great effect in support of Germany’s invasion forces and was instrumental in knocking out enemy infrastructure, artillery, armoured vehicles and tanks. It was able to do this largely because there was little enemy aircraft to oppose it. 

This was far from the case when the Ju 87 found itself over British soil during the Battle of Britain, where the Luftwaffe had to face the full might of the RAF.

Whilst the Luftwaffe’s twin-engined, fast attack bomber the Bf 110 attempted to make up the shortfall in escort duties, having the Luftwaffe’s primary fighter escort, the Bf 109 disappear after only a few minutes over Britain due to lack of fuel, left the slow and lightly defended Ju 87 a sitting duck.

On 16 August 1940, StG 1 and StG 2 lost nine Stukas between them in a raid on RAF Tangmere. Two days later, seventeen Stukasof StG 77 were lost attacking Ford and Thorney Island. In just six days of combat from 12 to 18 August, forty-one Ju 87s had been destroyed, forcing Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring to withdraw the aircraft from the Battle.

Made from an Electron magnesium and manufactured by the German Deutsche Benzin-Uhrin (DBU Works), DBU produced a number of Drop Tank and Primary Tank Fuel Cap variations.

Most Luftwaffe Drop Tanks, from the standard 300lt through to the larger 600lt and 900lt (carried by the Bf110 and larger bombers), were pressurised to approx. 6psi to assist the aircraft’s small internal fuel pump to lift the fuel from the under-wing drop tanks to the engine.

As a result, Drop Tank Fuel Caps were sealed with no ventilation holes or valves whereas, the aircraft’s primary fuel tank caps needed to be ventilated to avoid fuel lock.

In an effort to standardise machining and conserve materials, DBU initially used the same casting mould for both ventilated and non ventilated caps by moulding in 5 hole locations on the top of the cap.

These caps featured the DBU logo and ‘ KRAST STOFF’ or 'FUEL' with the wording 'Beluftungsventil' or Ventilation Valve' in raised text around the base of the cap.

Even though this left the wording ‘ eluftungsventil' or Ventilation Valve' in raised text around the base on all caps, the manufacturer supplied each cap with a 'press-in ' rubberised/spring valve; leaving it to Messerschmitt or Focke Wulf to drill out the holes themselves and insert the valve if they were to be used for the aircraft's ventilated primary tank.

Along with the above, DBU also manufactured generic fuel caps for the Luftwaffe's 300, 600 and 900lt drop tanks. Some of these still carried the DBU logo and wording  'KRASTSTOFF' or 'FUEL' (such as the example opposite) whilst others simply carried the DBU series numbers across each locking arm. These were called the ‘R Series' Drop Tank Fuel Caps (See right).

All variations were secured by two 8mm studs which were screwed down over the cap’s arm cutouts.

Electron magnesium was subject to severe pitting and corrosion over time and this WWII veteran is a prime example of that although it still retains its internal synthetic inner cap seal.

Mounted on its 100 yr old Mango Wood stand
with a highly detailed hand crafted and airbrushed model of the iconic German ground attack dive bomber the Junkers 87 ’Stuka' and informative Fact Sheet, this would make an extraordinary and highly valued, original memento of Luftwaffe air power for any aviation enthusiast.

* Note that this JU 87 Collectable is pictured with a 1/48 scale model rather than the standard detailed, but smaller 1/72 scale. Click on the 'Model Upgrade' option at the top of this page for the larger 1/48 scale.

This Junkers Ju 87 collectable comes complete with detailed 1/72 or larger 1/48 Scale Model, Mango Wood Stand & Plaque plus Printed Fact Sheet featuring photo of collectable on aircraft.

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Your Junkers Ju 87 DBU Drop Tank Fuel Cap, Original Recovery Curios Warbird Collectable includes:

  • Original Warbird instrument
  • Highly detailed hand-built and airbrushed 1/72 plastic scale model of the aircraft,* 
  • Hand-crafted and beautifully finished 100yr, Far North Queensland Mango Wood display stand
  • Detailed, 2-sided, printed and laminated Instrument Fact Sheet detailing aircraft and instrument
  • Removable Magnetic Display Arm

*An upgrade to the larger and more detailed 1/48 scale model is also available in the hand-built and airbrushed plastic version for an additional $45 (Click on the 1/48 scale option)

Both the 1/72 & 1/48 scale hand-built and airbrushed plastic models are available with 'canopy open or closed' options and a choice of two Squadron markings and camouflage.

Upon order placement you will receive an email asking for your preferred configuration.

Your complete Recovery Curios Original Instrument Collectable is securely packed and delivery normally takes between 4 - 6 weeks approx.

Did you fly, crew or maintain a Ju 87 or have a friend, colleague or family member who did? Check out our PERSONALISED ORIGINAL INSTRUMENT COLLECTABLE OPTION here.